Cult of Luna have been one of the most consistent bands that I’ve listened to over the years. Every album has been solid and the band doesn’t stray too far from their mix of bludgeoning riffs and atmospheric grace. However, their last album was a slight departure as it was a collaboration with singer Julie Christmas. For me, it didn’t work. The music was fine but sprinkling Christmas’ cartoonish vocals onto things was just terrible. I still hope there will be an instrumental version of that one.
But the band is back on their own with “A Dawn to Fear” and have signed with Metal Blade. Hopefully this gets them more attention! The album starts off with the first single “The Silent Man,” a stomping song very much in the tradition of what CoL is all about. Thick riffs, harsh vocals and melodic guitar lines. Cult of Luna remind me a bit of old Intronaut but perhaps more epic, if that’s possible.
“Lay Your Head to Rest” mixes atmosphere with a thumping drum part but it’s still quite heavy, while the title track starts out with a lengthy quiet section which builds a bit here and there before pummeling you 5 1/2 minutes in. Cult of Luna know how to set the mood. There’s no weak moments on “A Dawn to Fear” either. “Nightwalkers” is a violent 11 minute exercise while “Lights on the Hill” has a vastness to it that makes it a favorite of mine. KILLER song!
“We Feel the End” is unlike anything Cult of Luna have done. It’s somewhat ambient and serene with a clean vocal. I kept waiting for it to scare me but they kept it peaceful. It shows that Cult of Luna can grow! “Inland Sea” has an almost black metal vocal sitting on top massive Opethian riffs. “The Fall” is the 13 minute closer and it volleys back and forth from heavy to atmospheric. A great way to finish the album!
Cult of Luna have proven once again that they are a force to be reckoned with. “A Dawn of Fear” shows that the band still have their trademark sound but also want to explore other areas. The metal world is a better place just for the existence of Cult of Luna and “A Dawn to Fear” is all the proof you will need.
1. The Silent Man
2. Lay Your Head to Rest
3. A Dawn to Fear
5. Lights on the Hill
6. We Feel the End
7. Inland Rain
8. The Fall